What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”

William Shakespeare uses this line in his play Romeo and Juliet to convey the idea that the naming of things is irrelevant. Now, who would I be to question Shakespeare. But, a name may be relevant in conveying something more important than the person or object? For example, we name our children after their grandparents for example. In my new novel, why did I chose the name Captain Ted Cooper for my submarine commander? Ted Cooper was a close neighbour and friend I knew in high school. We were both in a school play – King Lear as it happens. I remember being a guard in the play and Ted was backstage. After the last performance, to celebrate we sailed a twenty-four foot wooden boat into the night. We were blind like King Lear – unable to see in the dark  –  and eventually beached on an island to get some sleep. The boat leaked, but we happily explored and had a great time. Ted went on to serve in the merchant navy as a captain before passing away at a rather young age. Using his name seemed most appropriate for the submarine commander in my book. Any other name was (sorry, Shakespeare) not quite as sweet. Of course, I did check out the list of USA sub commanders, the most famous being Richard H. O’Kane of World War II fame. There was no “Cooper” among them and, therefore, unlikely to be any objection.

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